Zeenery - student project

As we all know, the magazine industry isn't doing so well.   So either I'm dumb to try something with magazines or smart since there's an opportunity.  We'll see how it goes.  Please share any feedback or ideas...I'd love to hear it whether it's good or bad.

Zeenery is a website where magazine readers can discuss articles, play trivia, and meet other readers.  All of that is free and we make money by selling magazine subscriptions.  So far we have deals with almost 100 magazines, allowing us to sell those titles.

I've worked in the industry for several years and noticed there isn't a place to discuss all magazines and find new content.  Each magazine has their own website and social media pages, but I felt the industry was lacking a centralized website (like imdb.com for movies).

For copyright reasons, we cannot put actual magazine pages on the site, so we rely on our users to read the magazines and then discuss them at Zeenery.  Our hope is that people will have fun discussing magazines, and playing trivia and will choose our store to purchase subscriptions.

We currently only offer print subscriptions and would like to soon offer digital magazines.  Ideally we would like to have people read the discussions and then offer to sell them the digital issue immediately, but we’re working on it!

Thank you for your time and feedback.



1. List all major “players” in the system (eg. a marketplace may have two major players: buyers & sellers

a.  Magazine readers

b.  Magazine publishers

c.  Magazine sellers

2. List out any selfish reasons why each player would need their contacts/friends to join the service

a.  Magazine readers - They can have more fun discussing magazines with more people, especially their friends.  They can also make money if they choose to also become an affiliate and help us sell magazine subscriptions to friends or anyone.

(#4)  It’s a social experience so with more traffic, magazine readers can have more fun engaging in more conversations with more people.  They can also find out more information about magazines they don’t own by seeing more conversations about other magazines.  This would enable them to better decide if they should purchase.  As for affiliates, we currently offer a 50-50 split on all sales they generate through their unique link.  We have very high margins and can afford this.

b.  Magazine publishers - More people discussing their magazines means more exposure.  The likely result is more subscribers (both new and renewals).

(#4)  Publishers are struggling to find and keep subscribers due to all of the other forms of entertainment and most recently the rise of the internet.  As many have told me, anyone discussing their magazine, and in any place, is a good thing.

c.  Magazine sellers - Anything that is good for the magazine industry, is good for the sellers.  Specifically, the store that offers this discussion community (Zeenery) should directly benefit from increased sales.

(#4)  When magazines shut down, all sellers lose a product.  We rely on the industry doing well.  A community is also a way to increase traffic and get potential customers to hang out in your store even at times when they might not be planning to make a purchase.  Currently people only go to magazine stores when they plan to buy something but it would be ideal to have them “stop by” daily.

3. List out all things you could possibly charge each player for on the service

a.  Magazine readers - They already pay for magazine subscriptions.  Activity on Zeenery needs to be free to compete with magazine websites and other social networks like facebook.

(#4) I doubt people would be willing to pay to use Zeenery since we can’t offer anything that different.  The main differentiator with Zeenery is that you can discuss all magazines in one place, rather than going to individual magazine websites or social media pages.

b.  Magazine publishers - Publishers get a cut of each subscription sold at Zeenery and currently do not pay Zeenery anything.  If traffic picked up and Zeenery becomes a huge player in the industry then we could charge publishers to be included in our social network.  We could also charge them for prominent placement throughout our site (feature their discussions, first page of the store section, etc.).

(#4) More traffic means more power.  Right now we’re just happy to include any magazine that gives us the authorization to include them.  Prominent placement isn’t a feature yet due to our low traffic.  Hopefully that will change.

c.  Magazine sellers - The only thing to charge for is to let other sellers use a feed to show the Zeenery discussions on their site/store.  That could be an additional source of revenue.

(#4) Other sellers may want to include our discussions since it will help their customers decide to make purchases (instead of just using standard product reviews).  However they would likely be concerned with eventually losing traffic to Zeenery by informing them about our platform.